A local cricketer spent most of yesterday morning in the nets trying to emulate the flair with which Steve Smith leaves the ball whilst batting. Self-professed “middling middle order” batsman Callum Fraser decided to kick off his pre-season campaign with a few throw downs at Binnak Park with fellow aspiring local cricketer Ben Price.

Teammates at the Watsonia Wombats, the pair practised multiple aspects of their game, seemingly inspired by long nights staying up to watch both the World Cup and now the Ashes series. Speaking exclusively to The Watsonia Bugle, Fraser said he was happy with the first hit out of the upcoming season, also adding, “Smudga has really led the way for the Aussies this northern summer, and I’d like to think that I could provide the same kind of presence for the mighty Wombats”.

Fraser also gave a rare insight into his carefully honed cricket philosophy, saying, “A lot of the old boys talk about the forward defence providing the foundation of a solid batting technique. But I disagree. A good leave can send a really strong message – both to the opposition and to your own team. So I’ve basically got just under a month to really solidify what my leave is going to look like. I like the way Smudge adds a bit of character and authenticity to his leaves. If I’m being totally honest with you, and to reveal a little trade secret, my personal brand is all about authenticity. And it’s a theme I’m really aiming to nail down this season.”